Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

April 17, 2014

Falls native Michael Civisca returns to stage April 24 for fundraiser

Niagara Gazette — Niagara Falls native and American standards crooner Michael Civisca will join some of New York City’s top nightclub entertainers for “Life is a Cabaret,” a show celebrating the Buffalo Community Music School’s 90th anniversary. 

The event will be held at 7:30 p.m. April 24 in the Mary Seaton Room at Kleinhans Music Hall, 3 Symphony Circle.

Civisa, a 1981 graduate of Niagara Falls High School, has been “off the road,” for the past six years, raising his sons, ages 6 and 3, while his wife travels for her work. Prior to that, the singer, who was noted for his skill with American standards and love songs, had toured the country and parts of Europe and Asia under a record contract from Sony Music.

“It’s been the toughest job I’ve ever had,” Civisca said during a phone interview about being home for his kids. “It really changes your values, and changes your priorities.”

Civisca, who started his singing career at the Community Music School with vocal teacher Cheryl Hudson, has also trained with Andy Anselmo, a Buffalo native who attended Community Music School as a youngster and went on to become known as “New York City’s voice coach to the stars.” The Kleinhans event also marks a celebration of Anselmo’s 90th birthday.

Anselmo, a trustee of the music school, has worked with the other singers participating in the show, as well as such luminaries as Liza Minnelli, Mandy Patinkin, Regis Philbin, Brooke Shields and Joanne Woodward.  

Besides Civisca, the show features Eric Comstock and Barbara Fasano, who have been called “the New York nightclub world’s most celebrated team.” They have entertained at such hotspots as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, the Algonquin, Birdland and the Metropolitan Room. 

Also featured will be Caroline Jones, a singer, songwriter, recording artist and radio host who has performed at Lincoln Center, Cafe Carlyle and Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, among other famous venues. The show also features a jazz trio led by Buffalo native and onetime Community Music School student Carmen Intorre, a Grammy-nominated drummer who has performed and recorded with some of the world’s best-known jazz musicians.

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